How do astronauts perceive smells during a mission? What are the novelties in the treatment of anosmia (loss of smell)? How different is our way of “smelling” things from that of a midge? Smell and taste will be the focus of the annual European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO) meeting to be held in the “Abdus Salam” International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP) from 11 to 14 September, and SISSA – Scuola Internazionale Superiore di Studi Avanzati will be the co-organiser. Scientists will meet to take stock of the novelties in the research in chemoreception, encourage exchange of ideas and projects and consolidate international networks. The scientific programme of the event reveals a multidisciplinary approach to smell and taste, covering areas that range from medicine to aerospace research, and foresees the presence of numerous guests from the academic and the business world.
One of the most eagerly awaited speakers of the conference is Linda Buck, Nobel Prize winner in 2004 for her pioneering studies on receptors and the functioning of olfactory systems. The scientist will give the proESOF plenary lecture entitled “Deconstructing smell”. The speech by Jonathan Beauchamp from the Fraunhofer IVV Institute (Germany) will also emphasise the multidisciplinary approach of the conference with his presentation of an ESA project that investigates olfactory perception in Space to improve the wellbeing of astronauts during extra-terrestrial missions. An entire symposium will focus on smell loss, in particular on its epidemiology, the tools for clinically investigating this kind of dysfunctions, on the current and future treatment possibilities.